The civil division of the High Court in Kampala has dismissed an application by John Ken Lukyamuzi (CP), Dr.Abed Bwanika and Asuman Basaalirwa (JEEMA) seeking to halt parliament’s debate on the age-limit bill report.
Three Opposition leaders had petitioned the High Court seeking orders to stop parliament from discussing the planned amendment of Article 102(b) of the constitution to lift the presidential age limit; without first consulting citizens through a referendum.
The three through their lawyers led by Ladislaus Rwakafuuzi had petitioned court on Monday seeking to bring to a halt any proceedings.
They argued that it is only through a referendum where the age limit could be changed.
They also filed for an interim order seeking to stop parliament from debating the matter until their main application is done away with.
However, On Friday the court’s deputy registrar, Joy Kabagye dismissed the application saying Parliament had not violated any law or rule of procedure in deciding to amend Article 102 (b) of the constitution since its core role is to make laws for the country.
“While in the exercise of its mandate, Parliament may choose to add a variety or repeal any laws that it considers irrelevant,” Ms Kabagye said.
She added: “You may have genuine views to seek a referendum on the on-going Constitution amendments but parliament is an independent arm of government just like judiciary and they are mandated to carry out their core duties independently without outside interference.”
Court also noted that it would be unfair to issue an interim order stopping the House from executing its functions yet the main dispute is between the applicants and the Electoral Commission which has refused to accept and consider electronic signatures for purposes of holding a Referendum and yet the outcome of the age limit bill is still a mere speculation.
This therefore means that Parliament’s Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is free to to table its report on repealing the upper age limit for presidential candidates next week on Monday as had earlier been directed Speaker Rebecca Kadaga.